The Ultimate Newborn Baby Essentials Checklist!
The most exciting point in the pregnancy process? Having the baby! While other parts of the process like having your baby shower and choosing a name are pretty exciting, nothing tops the joy and excitement of giving birth and taking your new bundle of joy home. As any parent will tell you, however, this moment can be incredibly overwhelming as well. A great way to help prepare you for this journey? Having an ultimate newborn baby essentials checklist!
Once your baby is born there are items that you absolutely need. Making sure you’ve got those items with you at the hospital and ready and waiting for you at home is crucial. If you can cross these items off the list you are sure to feel much more at ease and ready to take on being a parent.
But, what are the truly essential items that a newborn needs? What clothes (and how many?) do they need? Are there items that you really don’t need to worry about? You’ve probably got those questions (and a million more). Totally understandable! After all, you just want what is best for your new baby.
Rest easy. We are bringing you the ultimate newborn baby essentials checklist! Here is absolutely everything that you and the baby will need. Whether you add these items to your baby shower registry or make a last-minute shopping trip to get any final items you had forgotten about, make sure you cross this list off before you head to the hospital (or wherever you go based on your birthing plan!)
What essentials are needed for a newborn baby?
So, what items truly are essential for a newborn baby? And more importantly, what items can you push off your list that you don’t need to worry about right away? Great questions. It is best to focus on what is needed and forget about everything else so that you don’t get overwhelmed.
Here are some top tips regarding what you really need and don’t need for your newborn baby:
Need: A car seat. This is a must-have! Most parents choose to give birth in a birthing center or hospital. What does that mean? You eventually have to get home! Having a good car seat is an absolute must. Even if you decide to give birth at home, at some point you will have to take your baby to the doctor or other places. Do so properly with a great car seat.
Need: Diaper essentials. You will definitely need this right away! Whether you go with cloth, re-usable diapers, or disposable ones, make sure you have plenty that are the correct size for your newborn. Along with this, consider related items like wipes, and diaper rash cream.
Need: A place to sleep. It is up to you as a parent to decide what type of sleeping situation is best for your newborn. Maybe this means placing them in a crib in the nursery, or maybe you opt for more of a co-sleeping setup with a bassinet. Either way, your baby needs a place to sleep! Make this decision in advance and have your preferred option set up and ready to go.
Need: Clothing. Now, while this is absolutely a necessity, how many outfits you need is more up to you. The reality is that your newborn is likely to need a few outfits per day thanks to things like diaper accidents or spit-up moments. While you might think to just load up on newborn clothes, keep in mind that your baby is going to grow very quickly.
They will only need newborn clothes for a few weeks! Pick the right amount of clothes that allow you to change their clothes as needed without having to do laundry every second of the day.
Skip: Shoes. Your newborn does not need shoes! They do need socks or booties to keep their feet warm, but they won’t be walking for some time. Don’t worry about shoes until your baby gets a bit older.
Need: Feeding essentials. This is another important area, but what you need specifically depends on your plan. This might mean you need a breast pump if you are planning to breastfeed, or might mean you need formula if this is your preferred choice. There is no wrong answer here, so make the decision that is best for you based on your preferences and consultations with your doctor. Just make sure you do have something so that you can be feeding baby right away!
Need: Items for bath time. You definitely need baby-safe soap and some washcloths. You’ll also need some towels for the baby. What you can maybe skip on is an actual infant tub. It is nice to have, but you can make do with other items if needed. Plenty of parents use the kitchen sink along with a large dishpan (just make sure everything is clean of course!) or you can always take your baby in the bath with you.
Maybe: A changing table. A changing table is certainly nice to have, but it is not a necessity. You can turn just about any place into a changing table, so don’t worry if you don’t have an official changing station.
Skip: Pillows, mattress pads. As much as you might want to fill your baby’s crib with all sorts of soft items, they pose a serious safety risk. Save these items for down the line when your child is older. All you really need is the crib or bassinet and a safe mattress that properly fits. No loose covers or sheets!
Wait: Baby proofing items. Now, keep in mind that we do consider these essential items, but you aren’t going to need them immediately with your newborn. They are not crawling at this stage, so you don’t need to worry about having everything perfectly baby-proofed when you get home from the hospital. However, make sure you do have a plan to get everything ready when the time comes (and if you do get this done in advance- good for you!)
Need: Stroller. While you might not take a ton of trips out with your newborn, you want to have the option. Instead of being forced to carry baby everywhere, we recommend having a stroller that can grow with you. That means it can adjust to accommodate your newborn, and will also fit as your baby starts to grow.
What clothes do you really need for a newborn?
We mentioned this earlier but it is a big question that every new parent is thinking about. What clothes do you actually need for a newborn? The one thing you do not need to worry about are shoes. You only need to worry about those once your toddler starts walking.
Another important thing to keep in mind here is practicality. If you are having to change your baby numerous times a day, you definitely want clothing items that are easy to get in and out of! Onesies are popular for this reason, as it is one item to put on and off instead of multiple.
We know it is also so tempting to purchase a bunch of adorable newborn clothing, but you really don’t need this. If you want one special outfit, that is understandable. Beyond that, stick to practical items that will be your best friend for the first few weeks of your baby’s life. There’s plenty of time when they get a little bit older to find the perfect cute outfit!
As for the specifics of what you do need, here is a good rule of thumb for clothing items to have on hand for your newborn:
✓ 5-10 onesies: These will be your best friend! The more you have, the less frequently you’ll have to do laundry.
✓ 5 pants: You don’t want your baby’s legs to be cold, so do have a few pairs of easy pull-on pants handy that they can wear with their onesies.
✓ 5 one-piece pajamas: These are the perfect warm pajamas your baby will enjoy wearing at the end of each day. To make it easier, purchase full-length pajamas that are also footies so that you don’t have to dress them in multiple items after their evening bath.
✓ 5-10 pairs of socks/booties: In place of shoes, make sure you have plenty of socks and booties to cover your baby’s feet so that they do not get cold.
✓ 2-4 scratch mittens: It is a risk the first few weeks of a baby’s life that they will scratch their face with their nails. Scratch mittens are a great idea to keep their hands warm and to protect their face from getting scratched.
Extra: Based on where you live and what time of year you will give birth, consider having additional clothing items to match the weather. This might be a cold-weather hat for winter, or a wide-brimmed hat for sunny weather, or warmer jackets if you live somewhere very cold.
Ultimate Newborn Baby Essentials Checklist
Okay, let’s put this all together to create your ultimate newborn baby essentials checklist. Here is everything that you need, and nothing that you don’t! Focus on this list for when you are bringing your newborn home. Other items are important, but those can wait!
- Car seat
- Diaper rash cream
- Crib or bassinet
- Mattress and cover
- Onesies (5-10)
- Pants (5)
- One-piece pajamas (5)
- Socks/booties (5-10)
- Scratch mittens (2-4)
- Breast pump (if breastfeeding)
- Bibs (numerous)
- Washcloths (numerous)
- Baby soap
- Hooded towels (3-5)
- Baby thermometer
- Diaper bag (while not technically necessary, we highly recommend investing in one that you can have loaded and ready to go whenever you need to leave the house)
- First-aid kit (hopefully you never need this but in case you do, you will be happy to have one!)
As you prepare to give birth and become a parent, having a newborn baby essentials checklist can help you stay organized and remember all of the items that you absolutely need for your newborn. With everything on your mind it is easy to forget about various items that you need, so be sure to consult this list and make sure you have everything on this list before you give birth!
While there are other things that you will need for your baby as they grow, try not to worry too much about what is to come several months down the road. Focus on your newborn baby and making it through that first couple of weeks and months! And most importantly, congratulations on your new bundle of joy!